Businesses today can freely reach their targeted customers with DTC (direct-to-consumer) marketing. With online and social media channels, even small businesses and startup brands have the power to build direct relationships with customers, get better insights into customer data, and design a better customer experience.
As we enter Q4, the busiest shopping season of the year, it’s highly essential to ensure that your business capitalizes on major retail events and shopping holidays to close the year strong. You can follow the advice of some of the most successful marketers who provided some valuable insights on how to optimize your organic and paid marketing strategies to be able to stay competitive and win more sales in the last three months of the year.

Why Businesses Need to Pay Attention to Q4

It’s never too early to prepare for your Q4 campaigns. Some marketers prepare for this months in advance when they set their annual marketing targets. Here are the top reasons why it’s important to prioritize Q4 marketing.

· Build momentum early

Every business is different and there is not one formula for success that works for all. A lot of brands discover the sweet spot after gathering insights from the first one or two campaigns. The process of building momentum and optimizing your campaigns could take some time. By planning and starting your Q4-targeted campaigns early, you’ll be in a very good position to find out which types of ads and which channels perform best. You will then be in a good position to prepare for the challenges of marketing to your customers in Q4.

· Anticipation of Q4 cost increases

Launching campaigns late into Q4 is likely to cost you more compared to doing it earlier in Q3. A 2021 report by Adespresso showed that costs for Facebook CPC (cost-per-click) ads could increase by up to 20% in Q4 compared to Q3. The closer to the holidays you launch your paid ad campaigns, the more you are likely to spend because many other businesses will also be launching holiday campaigns in the final months of the year.

· Build customer relationships effectively

Marketing is all about building lasting relationships with customers. And as any marketer knows, this is a process that takes time to build. Gaining customers’ trust requires properly introducing your brand and your products and convincing interesting customers that you’re a brand worth investing in. If you’re launching your Q4 campaigns early, you’re slowly building a foundation for when you push holiday campaigns in time for the holiday season. By then, customers will be highly familiar with your products and will be ready to convert.

Tips and Advice from Experts

Brands looking to scale growth in Q4 with advertising strategies should prepare ahead of time and start their campaigns early. Here are some more expert advice from many successful marketers on how to master Q4:

Take the chance.

This is advice from founder Cory Eulas. Marketers who have been managing campaigns for a while tend to get a little comfortable with strategies tested to perform well. But according to Eulas, Q4 might also be a good time to take the chance on a “wild” or crazy idea that you have never tried before, as you never know whether the results would surprise you.

Prepare now for Q4 next year.

According to founder John Doherty, nothing beats preparedness. If you can plan for the next year now, you better go ahead and do it, especially if you have not been building up campaigns for the last quarter of this season, you may get started on significant preparations for next year instead. Doherty encourages marketers to be consistent with communication and reporting so it’s always clear what campaigns you launched and your expected results.

Evaluate your website reputation. founder Cyrus Shepherd gave the tip to check your website reputation and use this information to improve your website ranking and reputation. By evaluating your website’s current reputation with the rest of the digital world, you can see how far you have to go in improving your search visibility. You know you have achieved a good reputation when you see your brand being talked about on review sites, forums, and social media. If you are lacking in this area, you need to work on improving customer trust and implement strategies that would improve authority signals on your site.

Don’t be afraid to mix tactics.

Customers visit your site with varying intentions and behave differently on-site. AimClear CMO Susan Wenograd recommends mixing different tactics to cater to different customer behaviors. As an example, a video you have posted may be remarketed to people who engaged with the post. Remarketing is one tactic you may consider adding to your marketing mix as it can help you gain insights on drivers that give you the most favorable returns.

Watch your bidding and budgeting.

ZatoMarketing founder Kirk Williams offered some useful insights on why your Q4 budgeting is essential and why marketers should consider bidding adjustments. He recommends upgrading your budget if you saw a good return on your Paid Search spend in Q4 of the previous year. By increasing ad spend by up to 15%, you have enough room to cover market fluctuations and inflation.
As for bidding adjustments, be cautious about automated bidding, according to Wiliams. Google algorithms can change according to historical performance and may struggle to keep up with drastic changes in Q4 because of the busy shopping season. Also, bump your budgets on key dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you don’t miss out on great opportunities to reach customers.

Paid social amplification.

Avalaunch Media VP of digital marketing Luke Alley highlights the tremendous impact paid social amplification campaigns can have on your business. Mixed with SEO campaigns, highly visual content, and focused messaging and targeting, this type of strategy can produce dramatic results for your business in Q4.
Do you agree with these tips and advice? Are there actionable items you would like to adopt for your business this quarter? PartnerForward can help you optimize your marketing strategies for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Contact us and tell us about your goals today.